Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 27th Oct 2009 00:37 UTC
Features, Office In the comments on our editorial about language purism and the Psystar case, it became quite clear that language is a subject almost everyone has an opinion on - not odd if you consider that language is at the very centre of what makes us "human". Since this appears to be a popular subject, let's talk about the influence computing has had on two very minor aspects of the Dutch language.
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Lane IJ
by righard on Tue 27th Oct 2009 12:55 UTC
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Another difference computers made to Dutch has to do with our ,lange IJ” (teasing Thom). In Dutch the 'ij' is one character. This character doesn't appear our US Keyboards though (it does on the Dutch layout and old typewriters I belief) so we write it as two characters i and j.

One small consequence is in counting; the word “zijn” has three characters, though computers think there are four. It's clearly one character in written Dutch, we're it is most times written as an y with dots on it. But because nowadays we type more then write most people think “zijn” has four letters.

Alphabetically sorting words containing a IJ is also difficult for computers, because the think the words start we an I. (Though the rules about sorting the IJ differed before computers.)

I heard that in Flemish the ij are two distinct characters, and are there for also capitalized as Ijswinkel (instead of our superior IJswinkel -:)

Edited 2009-10-27 12:55 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Lange IJ
by Tuxified on Tue 27th Oct 2009 22:52 in reply to "Lane IJ"
Tuxified Member since:

The long and short "ij/ei" is still a mystery for me. I don't hear a difference for starters. Secondly, it's supposed to be a different character but have you ever chanted Dutch alphabet using that character? I haven't ;)
To me, it's something indoctrinated at young age and not a real character. (I was raised bilingual Dutch/Serbo-Croatian btw)

One thing that I miss in this article is the change of spelling in (mostly) youngsters typing. I've seen a lot youngster use "egt"-> "echt" or "lag"-> "lach" (mostly being the lack of spelling functionality in for example MSN Messenger).

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Lange IJ
by righard on Wed 28th Oct 2009 08:01 in reply to "RE: Lange IJ"
righard Member since:

The ij and eij used to be pronounced differently, and because some Dutch dialects still pronounce them different they are not combined yet. The same is true for the g and ch. In most parts of the Netherlands these are indistinguishable, but for example here in Brabant we use our (in)famous 'soft g' for g, and use the 'hard g' for ch.
(The pronounciation of our soft g is actually one of the most rare sounds of the world ;)

Officially the IJ is the 25th character of the Dutch alphabet, between X and Z. That's why we say “iks, ij, zet' instead of 'iks, griekse ij, zet'

I think that youngsters use 'egt' and 'lag' because they think it's cool. I did not see it outside msn language much.

Edited 2009-10-28 08:03 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2